RUINER by Reikon Games is an adrenaline fuelled, breathless action shooter/slasher in an isometric/top down stylee. What first drew me in was the quality cyberpunk aesthetics (I mean, it looks gorgeous!), the ultra-violence with just a smidge of an anime inspiration thrown in for good measure. Then layer on top of that a BANGING cyberpunk-themed soundtrack and a ramping up of furiousness and…….
What. A. Blast!!!
I’d only got part way through the prologue/tutorial previously and I wasn’t bowled over by it, but once I got a hang of it and the game opened up into the world, that was it. Controlling the little no-name, no-face dude as he goes about exacting his revenge on all and sundry (although you’re never quite sure if you’re having your strings pulled by someone or not after the prologue) is so much fun. And when you start collecting skill points and building on your skill-set, adding more brutal and more powerful weapons and abilities, the sky is the limit! Well, OK, most of this takes place deeper and deeper underground, so…… Hell’s the limit?
I’m not entirely sure that I had full control over what my lil dude was doing ALL the time but he kinda did what I thought I wanted him to do but when it works, when it comes off like you plan, it is a frantic, brutal evisceration of all the enemies on the screen! Explosions, lost limbs, severed heads, spouts of blood, it’s got it all! And what makes it all the more fun is that there are a seemingly endless supply of enemies that just keep coming at you, and plenty of variety in their types to keep things interesting and challenging. The variety of shooting/slashing through the hordes was vital in keeping things engaging for me. I wasn’t much cop with the various shooty-shooty weapons, preferring to slice-and-dice, but they did come in handy at certain moments.
Just when you think that you’ve got a handle on things along comes a mini boss. Usually bigger, usually much faster and definitely more uncompromising, these are a real test of what you’ve been honing for the previous hour/s. There are plenty of these mini-bosses to get through and a few major-boss battles that are another level up again and all bring a different challenge to the multiple enemy challenge that you have been facing up until now.
There are a lot of cut scenes in this to help drive the (fairly interesting) story forwards but, to be fair, the cut scene style is awesome (see images above) so I can forgive it for that! Some of the dialogue is quite hokey but it still hits the mark. Just thinking about this game now is bringing a smile to my face. Ahhh, that awesome feeling of smashing a big metal pipe into a bad guys face. Oooh-weee! Or, hold on, am I the bad guy here? Am I being played by some controlling person/persons to do their bidding and dirty work? That second-guessing remains in the back of your mind throughout (when you get a breather), if you are bothered to pay attention to the moments in-between the fighting that is!
For only a few quid this is a fantastic little game. It looks great, it plays great and the atmosphere is just fantastic throughout. I just wish it was longer/bigger(uncut?). There is some, non-fighting traversing of the isometric world around the cybercity of Rengkok: visiting places, having conversations and picking up small side missions. But it could do with more. More I tell you. MOOOOORRRREEEE! I’d love to spend more time exploring this world, expanding the scope of the game and expanding the missions.
Who am I kidding? Hell, I’d just be happy to bring more beat downs to anyone that gets in my way. I think I’ll be dipping my toe back into the world of RUINER, albeit at a higher level, sometime soon.